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NYC high schoolers using cannabis less than peers nationwide, city health officials say

2019-09-25

Dazed and confused, they ain’t.

Public high schoolers in New York City are using cannabis less than their peers in the rest of the U.S., according to a new report from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The study released Tuesday found that in 2017, 16% of city high school students had used pot in the past month, compared to 20% of high schoolers nationwide.

A third of New Yorkers ages 18 to 25 and a quarter of people ages 26 to 34 had used pot.

Across all age groups, 24% of white New Yorkers, 14% of black New Yorkers and 12% of Latinos had used pot.

“The Health Department’s study on cannabis use in our city shows what we have long known — that white people use marijuana at significantly higher rates than do Black people and Latinos,” Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “And yet nearly 90% of those arrested for marijuana possession have been Black and brown people. This is why the Brooklyn DA’s office no longer prosecutes anyone for simple possession of marijuana.”

The data come as lawmakers in NYC and beyond have pushed to legalize marijuana.

“Estimates suggest that more than a million New Yorkers use cannabis,” Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said in a statement.

“The more we know about cannabis use, the better we can tailor strategies and approaches that promote the health of the city’s residents.”

While cannabis use has increased throughout the U.S. since 2009, levels have remained “stable” in NYC, the Health Department said.

The department did not immediately answer an inquiry asking why the report cited info from nearly three years ago.